A Tapestry of Shade-Loving Plants

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This is approximately one third of one of the three rectangular raised beds in my woodland garden at the front of my house. It contains a number of shade loving plants that provide a continuously changing tapestry of interest throughout the year. The slideshow above tells you what each of the plants is and its season of interest. Continue reading

Local Landscapes 2 – Dramatic Drifts of Lady’s Smock

On the country drive I take to and from work there is a long straight section of hedge with a fifteen foot grassy verge in front. Each spring this verdant roadside stretch is illuminated with pointillist pale pink flowers of Lady’s Smock (cardamine pratense), forming intermittent drifts over 100 yards from end to end. Continue reading

Extending the Season with Autumn Whites

autumn-white-kaffir-lily

There is something particularly classy about white flowers when they grow in isolation from other colours, especially when set off by evergreens and foliage plants. Not only do they pick up the low sun so well, but in twilight or by moonshine they glow with a ghostly light.

Here, then, is a selection of stylish white flowers that are in bloom  in my garden throughout autumn – a time when the garden can otherwise look rather forlorn. These gems can certainly lift the spirits as the nights draw in. Continue reading

Pasqueflowers re-bloom in August

Purple pasque flowers unexpectedly emerge for a second flush in August

Pasqueflower, Easter flower or Meadow Anemone (Pulsatilla vulgaris), is one of my favourite plants. Almost every stage of its flowering is interesting:  The large flower heads emerge in spring (close to Easter) along with the foliage, all of which is covered in fine silky hairs, and look striking especially when backlit by low spring sunshine. Continue reading

Spring bulbs in pots

I chose these bulbs for their fairly monochrome hues which suit the colour scheme of our house. The narcissi are small, scented, delicate flowered varieties. I had hoped to display the black and white tulips at the same time, but their flowering did not overlap – Queen of Night opening a full week after Purissima had finished.

Having grown them in the cold greenhouse overwinter they were free of weather damage, and had a pleasing architectural quality to their growth. As each pot came into flower they were brought into the house, where they provided weeks of pleasure and fragrance. Indoors, the higher temperature accelerated their blossoming, so as each showed signs of going over they were moved outside by the front door, where the cool March weather brought their progress back to a crawl. Some of them look as if they will continue for a couple more weeks.